Weather outlook: more rain is needed, but will April deliver?

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Channel 3 sports legend

Marsh Nelson grew up across the street from my dad in

Tower so we watched a lot of KDAL when I was a child in the ‘60s. But when Dennis Anderson and Jack McKenna teamed up at Channel 10 in the ‘70s, we switched allegiance. I remember many a time watching Jack back in the day. Frankly, all we wanted from the weather was to get the forecast and hear our town mentioned. The rest was dressing.

Over the years, I’ve had requests come in to add every town from Alborn to Zim to the temperature map. Prior to 1992, it was possible to do that because we’d have to manually phone people in every town to get the current temperature. Effective perhaps, but very time consuming. Now, temperatures are fed by the Automated Weather Observation Stations at local airports so the places on the map are locked down and permanent.

But, there still are a couple ways for folks to get their towns in a weather report. Precipitation totals still come in manually to the National Weather Service (NWS) so if no one from a particular place calls in, that town never gets mentioned. An easy way to call in rain or snow totals is to phone NWS Duluth at 218-729-6697 and press zero to speak to a forecaster.

Internet savvy people are encouraged to join CoCoRaHS (which to me sounds like a breakfast cereal). That stands for Community Collaborative Rain, Hail, and Snow Network. All you need to join CoCoRaHS is a standard four-inch diameter rain gauge and access to the internet to relay reports through the CoCoRaHS website. The leader of the program in our region is Steve Gohde of NWS Duluth, you can find out more from him at

Will we have anything to report this April? Despite an uptick in rain in March, long range forecasters think we’ll go to the dry side again in April. They think the Upper Midwest will come up a half inch short for rainfall this month. Those forecasters think we’ll be warmer than normal by an average of two degrees.

April’s warmer than average prediction will probably come courtesy of one big warm spell because most of the month should be chilly with a shot at some late season snow. April 1 – 5 should be showery and cool. April 6 – 9 should be sunny and warm. April 10 – 16 should be cool and rainy. April 17 – 22 should be sunny and cool. April 22 – 30 aims to be cool and snowy.

The super long range forecast hints at these trends for much of 2021: May will be warmer and drier than normal. Summer will be hotter and drier than normal. Autumn will have below normal temperatures and rainfall.

Dave Anderson is a CBS 3 meteorologist. He is a native of Ely and lives in Duluth. He writes a monthly weather outlook article that he shares with Hometown Focus.

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